Book Review: Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I came to read Universal Harvester for the weirdness and 90’s nostalgia, almost left because I got so deeply creeped out, but ultimately stayed for John Darnielle’s gut-punch writing and intimate portraiture of midwestern people in all their banality and strangeness. This novel is tough to classify. It reads sort of like horror, but it’s really not–as disturbing as it still is. This is more of a slow burn, a literary haunting, and I appreciate Darnielle’s subtle hand navigating it all. A fantastic novel.

P.s. Had no idea that John is the frontman for The Mountain Goats until I glanced at the bio at the end! Wow John, leave some talent for the rest of us! 🙂

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